College and Career

7 Tips for Scheduling Your Next Semester

December 6, 2019

Semesters fly by. Right now, you’re worried about term papers and partner projects. What comes next is far from your mind. Yet you’re getting emails that it’s time for scheduling college classes.

As much as you don’t want to think about the ghost of college future, enrolling for the next round of classes is essential to staying on top of your credits and — someday soon — completing your degree.

Make next semester your best yet by following these seven scheduling tips:

1. Remember Registration Day

At the beginning of each semester, mark registration day on your calendar. You’ll be able to find school events, including the last possible day to drop classes, on the main website. 

This practice will get you in the habit of planning out your weeks, a crucial skill if you want to stay ahead of assignments and tests.

2. Meet With Your Advisor

At the beginning of your college experience and the end of every semester, you’ll meet with your academic advisor and plan out your next steps. Keep in mind that, in the U.S., the average advisor helps more than 350 students. Arrive with prepared questions to save time, such as: 

  • Am I on track to graduate?
  • How and when can I register for classes?
  • What credits do I need to add a minor?
  • What is the typical schedule of the courses I need for my major?
  • Do I have room to add an elective?

3. Make a Class List

Students can check their school’s course list to see what’s available at any time. Make a list of classes you need, such as biology, mathematics and English. Then, make a dream list of courses that interest you, your so-called best college schedule.

According to one UK survey, the most popular college classes in 2019 are subjects related to medicine, biological sciences, and business and administration. Creative arts and social studies are also top contenders. A few electives can be fun but remember not to overload your schedule.

4. Remember Other Obligations

It might sound nice to get all your tough classes done in one semester, but you’ll burn yourself out. Remember other responsibilities in your life that will impede your ability to study. 

Perhaps you volunteer or have an internship. If you’re like 41% of full-time students, you work an extra job to cover tuition and bills. Balancing your coursework with other obligations will lead to success in school, so remember not to overload your schedule.

5. Play to Your Strengths

Think about which courses you’re good at and which ones you struggle with. When looking at future classes, play to your strengths. 

Can you solve a complicated math problem with little effort? Maybe you can outline an essay in your mind before you sit down to write? Sign up for classes you know you can handle to develop your strengths and check off required coursework. 

6. Weigh the Work

Think about how much work is associated with each course. A 200-level English class, for example, may sound easy. However, the professor might require multiple weekly essays.

Research each course by reading professor reviews online. See what other students say about homework and class requirements. You don’t want to end up with five hours of work each day, or you’ll struggle to stay afloat.

7. Set a Reminder

Set the calendar reminder or alarm on your computer or phone for two weeks before registration day, and add a note about college course scheduling. It will remind you to schedule an appointment with your advisor or research classes. 

You might want to create another reminder for the moment registration opens. Classes tend to fill quickly, and you’ll want to check off everything on your list — so start signing up as early as you can on registration day!

Are You Scheduling Your Next Semester? Plan Ahead

Do you want to plan the perfect semester in advance? If so, follow these tips to make sure your class schedule checks all the right boxes. Meet with your advisor, ask relevant questions and create a list of your top classes. Plus, don’t forget to set a reminder for registration day.  

Once you plan ahead, you can focus on your current classes — and know you’re setting yourself up for academic success.

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